This is language that CUPE locals can use to create their own codes of conduct. For CUPE’s National Code of Conduct, please click here.


Safe Union Spaces reportThe mandate of our union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), is to organize and defend workers and to promote economic and social justice for our members and for all workers. In carrying out our work, we in CUPE strive to promote our core values which include the principles of solidarity, equality, democracy, integrity, and respect. We are committed to mobilizing our energy and skills to work together to promote these values and to attain these goals in our union, our communities, and globally.

CUPE is committed at all levels to creating a union which is inclusive, welcoming, and free from harassment, discrimination, and all types of bullying and intimidation. CUPE needs to ensure that we provide a safe environment for members, staff, and elected officers to carry out our work. CUPE’s expectation is that mutual respect, understanding, and co-operation will be the basis of all our interaction.

This Code of Conduct sets out standards of behaviour for participants at national convention, conferences, schools, meetings, and any other union events organized by CUPE National, Local _____, or any other CUPE chartered body. It is consistent with the expectations outlined in the Equality Statement and the CUPE National Constitution.

This Code of Conduct is intended to deal with complaints of inappropriate behaviour at events organized by CUPE National and at events, meetings, and activities by other CUPE bodies. It does not apply to complaints arising in the workplace, as those are dealt with through the grievance procedure and/or the applicable workplace harassment policy.

As CUPE members, staff, and elected officers, we commit to one another and to the union to be governed by the principles of the Code of Conduct and agree to:

  • Abide by the provisions of the Equality Statement.
  • Respect the views of others, even when we disagree.
  • Recognize and value individual differences.
  • Communicate openly.
  • Support and encourage each other.
  • Make sure that we do not harass or discriminate against each other.
  • Commit to not engaging in offensive comment or conduct.
  • Make sure that we do not act in ways that are aggressive, bullying, or intimidating.
  • Take responsibility for not engaging in inappropriate behaviour due to use of alcohol or other drugs while participating in union activities, including social events.

Harassment is objectionable behaviour which may include actions, language, gestures, and/or written material, and which the harasser knows or ought reasonably to know is abusive and unwelcome. Bullying is a form of harassment which is serious ongoing behaviour which targets an individual or group and which threatens that person or persons’ mental and/or physical well-being.

A complaint regarding the Code of Conduct will be handled as follows:

  1. If possible, a member may attempt to deal directly with the person alleged to have engaged in behaviour contrary to the Code by asking them to stop such behaviour. If that is not possible, or if it does not resolve the problem, a member may bring forward a complaint.
  1. A complaint shall be brought to the attention of an ombudsperson when there is one available. Should an ombudsperson not be available, a person properly appointed and designated to be in charge shall receive the complaint.
  1. The ombudsperson or the person in charge will work to seek a resolution. If this fails to resolve the matter, the ombudsperson shall report the matter to the person in charge. The person in charge has the authority to expel members from the event for serious or persistent offenses.
  1. If the complaint involves a national staff member, it shall be referred to the appropriate director for investigation and the complaint shall be dealt with in accordance with the applicable staff collective agreement. If the complaint involves a staff member employed by another CUPE chartered organization, the complaint shall be referred to the person responsible for their employment.
  1. If the person in charge is a party to the complaint, an alternate will be designated to assume the role.
  1. In a case where a member has been expelled from a National event, the National President shall receive a report on the matter. For other events, the presiding officer shall receive a report on the matter.
  1. For events organized by CUPE National, the National President shall determine if further remedial action is appropriate, including restricting a member’s participation in future events organized by CUPE National. For other events, the presiding officer shall consult the National President.

This Code of Conduct is designed to create a safe, respectful, and supportive environment within CUPE. It is meant to enhance the rights and obligations outlined in the CUPE National Constitution, the Equality Statement, and applicable human rights legislation, not replace them.

This Code of Conduct does not replace a member’s right to access the trial provisions under Appendix F of the CUPE National Constitution.